Ford in the Service of America

Mass Production for the Military During the World Wars

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About the Book

This is the history of the Ford Motor Company’s achievements and products during World Wars I and II. It demonstrates how, in addition to well-known contributions like jeeps, Eagle Boats and B-24 Liberators, Ford also produced key items ranging from squad tents and the ultra precision gun director to tanks and aircraft engines. Details on each product and how Ford produced it are included. During both wars, the automotive giant used precision manufacturing methods and innovative designs and procedures to increase quantity and quality while lowering production costs.

About the Author(s)

Army veteran Timothy J. O’Callaghan retired from the Ford Motor Company after 40 years in management. He has written extensively on Ford history in magazines and journals, and has written two books about Henry and Edsel Ford’s aviation ventures. He lives in Northville, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Timothy J. O’Callaghan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: 70 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4485-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. World War I      5

Introduction to War      5

Tractors for Britain      7

Vehicles      8

Liberty Aircraft Engines      10

Kettering Bug      13

Eagle Boats      13

Henry’s Other Boat      21

Caissons      22

Tanks and Armor Plate      23

Helmets and Body Armor      26

Other War Products      28

Ford Overseas      28

Home Front      29

Wartime Profits      29

Wartime Aggravations      30

Summary      31

2. World War II      33

Prelude to War      33

War Production      36

War Production Facilities      37

Employment Diversity      38

Publicity      40

Key Participants      42

3. Consolidated Bomber      45

Production Plans      47

Manufacturing and Assembly      51

Flight Operations      66

Human Resources      69

Other Assignments      74

4. Gliders      82

5. Aircraft Engines      88

The Rolls Royce Controversy      88

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft

Engine      89

Pulse Jet Engine      95

6. Other Aviation Contracts      99

Aircraft Distributor      99

Aircraft Ignition      100

Aircraft Generators      100

Turbo Superchargers      101

Rate-of-Climb Indicators      102

Altitude Chamber      103

Quick Change Engine      103

Jettison Fuel Tanks      104

7. New Foundries and Smelters      106

Steel Making Facilities      106

Armor Plate Foundry      106

Aluminum Foundry      107

Magnesium Smelter      108

Magnesium Foundry      108

8. Wheeled Vehicles      110

Jeeps      110

Amphibian Jeeps      115

Armored Cars      117

Military Trucks      121

Fordson and Moto-Tug

Tractors      122

Civilian Type Vehicles      124

9. Tracked Vehicles      125

Tanks and Tank Destroyers      125

Ford Tank Engines      129

Universal Carriers      131

10. Other Contributions      134

Gun Directors      134

Tire Plant      138

Ordnance Modification Depots      139

Squad Tents      140

Marine Operations      140

Timber, Mining and Charcoal      142

Precision Gauges      143

Rubber Plantation      144

Inventions and Patents      145

Miscellaneous      145

11. Ford Facilities      147

Main Plants      147

Branch Plants      148

Upper Peninsula      149

Village Industries      149

12. Training and Service Schools      152

Henry Ford Trade School and

Ford Apprentice School      152

Other Training      154

13. Foreign Operations      160

British Empire      160

Ford of Canada      165

Other Overseas Operations      165

14. The Veteran’s Story      168

15. Summary      171

Attitude      173

Process      173

Facilities      174

Cooperation      175

Profits      176

Appendix      179

World War I Production and Finance Summary      179

World War II Production Summary      180

Rouge Plant Map      182

Monthly Unit Production of B-24 Bombers      183

World War I Songs and Poems About Henry Ford and His Cars      184

Chapter Notes      189

Bibliography      195

Index      197

Book Reviews & Awards

“this is a topic that, to us, simply cannot be overdone. Thickly laden with facts and some of the lesser-known products and processes here are absolute delights. A good book, peppered with seldom-seen creations”—Hemmings Classic Car; “fascinating details”—Michigan Historical Review; “factual and straight-forward…the first work dedicated specifically to this area of Ford history…poignant…commendable…interesting and significant”—SAH Journal.